Saturday, October 18, 2008

George Shaw (Audrey's Pick)



This artist grew up in Tile Hill, an estate in Coventry, England. He always wanted to to be an artist, specifically a painter, and looked forward to art school. Hoever, he ended up losing his 'umph' while attending, and had difficulty creating anything after graduation. On his return home he painted his surroundings to pass the time and produce at least something, when finally he realized this work was more than that. His paintings and drawings were charged with emotion and memories from childhood, revealing a rawness about the place he grew up in.

Similarly to the self-portraits of Coffey, Slater's pick, these images are not gorgeous landscapes. They say something about Shaw's hometown and his childhood in a way a photograph of the same image could not. Coffey's portraits depict a sense of where she has been and who she became from the realism of the background and her face in all its wrinkles and flaws and features. Without any figures, Shaw also presents realistic and mundane images, but they often in fact are not accurate renderings of the buildings or sites. He paints from 1,000s of photographs, using Humbrol enamel paint, but puts himself in the product to make it his memory. "Their colours and smell evoked his childhood. Their glossy surface acted like a mirror, reflecting glimpses of the present back from the past."

His paintings depict every day scenes of pubs, trees, and graveyards, like in his series of Scenes from the Passion. They could be seen anywhere almost, but Shaw's style makes them utterly unique. The trees in some works are these great mysterious beasts beckoning you closer. Vivid colors tell a story about the scene and its meaning to Shaw, usually a feeling of loss, worn down, or melancholy.

check out these links for more
art of the matter
george shaw on E4
an article by Sue Hubbard on Shaw

1 comment:

Eliza said...

I like this artist not so much for his art, but for his idea. The idea of creating even when you've lost inspiration to create. This is something I do sometimes. If I am feeling like I'm in a rut, sometimes I'll just draw something awful just to get the juices flowing. Even if I don't like the drawing, I'll like one aspect, or something in the drawing enough to build a new piece off that idea, or pencil stroke, or whatever it was I liked.

I think it's important to create even when you feel like you're terrible at it, because sometimes you'll surprise yourself despite your pessimism about your work.